Rentals in Clearwater>Question Details

Jean Marie, Renter in Saint Petersburg, FL

How to avoid the application fees for apts that are not even available?

Asked by Jean Marie, Saint Petersburg, FL Thu Feb 7, 2013

Most deposits are nonrefundable. I am becoming increasing aware, that some landlords or property managements, run ads for apts that are NOT even available, and charge you the $50 or whatever to apply, and don't even have an available apt! Anyway for an outoftowner to avoid being scammed like that?
Some apts then tell you, "Yes, you are quaified, send the deposit"
and you do,
and then, upon arriving, are told there is no available are out of luck, with your moving va behind you.

anyway to avoid that?
Also, the landlords can then take their sweet time while you fight to get your deposit returned....anyway to avoid that?

any and all tips for an OUT OF TOWNER to avoid being scam victim or being led on???

also, is it pretty customary for all apts to require renter's insurance? About how much is that? (no way to find out without actually applying for it, giving them your info).

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As Tracy and Ann have said, use a Realtor to represent your interests when you are not moving locally. Not a bad idea to do so even when moving locally.

Your application fee is history but any Realtor will ensure any deposit is promptly return. Prompt may mean a week to 10 days to make certain your original check has fully cleared before they write a refund check. Tenants can be less than honest and forthright too.

After the dust settles, make a complaint to the BBB if it's a larger complex. Small investor doesn't care about BBB. If not returned in two weeks or so, fill out a police report for theft of your funds. Consider holding out for 'damages money' or have the individual arrested.

You just don't have to put up with dishonest landlords or property managers. (I know because I am both.)

Bob Emerick
Future Home Realty, Inc.
Seminole, FL
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
Jean Marie,

I would suggest using a licensed Realtor. They will not hold your money nor require you to pay a deposit for a property that is not available. It sounds as if you may have a property owner or manager who is not being quite honest.

The best way to determine your cost for renters insurance is to call your insurance company and ask them what the cost would be to insure to a certain amount. If you do not have an insurance carrier I will be happy to recommend a few.

Please review my profile on Trulia and send me a message or email me directly at

No pressure, just help with your questions.

Tracy Hoyt
Prudential Tropical Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
1) never give anyone money unless you (or your representative if you're out of state) can see the property. In the case of a multifamily apartment building, not necessarily your unit, but a unit.

2) use a Realtor to help you find a private rental. We can help you check for things like foreclosure proceedings.

3) Renter's insurance is required in many places in Florida. It's not that expensive, and you'll be happy you have it if something goes wrong.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
BTW, my question, is not,
in any way at all,
related to the property being linked to this question!! sorry! I do not know that property at all, i just posted in the SIDE column, of "ask a question"....

also, i meant to type "most application fees are not refundable"
not "most deposits are not refundable."

but, that might be a concern i should have, and don't!!??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 7, 2013
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